Perfecting Your Craft: Finishing the Project

By Erin Burger – 15 Comments

One of the most frustrating and tedious elements of crocheting is getting to the end of a pattern or project and having to get rid of all the odds and ends.  For the beginning crocheter this can be particularly maddening, considering it’s not always known how to properly execute this task.

Annoying and ugly ends can ruin any finished project so take care to finish off appropriately.  The best way to do this is to use a yarn needle (also known as a tapestry needle).  A yarn needle is usually larger than other needles, has a larger eye and is most of the time made of plastic.

When changing yarn (see How to Change Colors in Crochet for more information on how to do this!) or attaching a new skein to a project you can easily hide the ends while you are crocheting without stopping and using a needle:

Attach new color and keep the end between the yarn and the project

Continue on with the unwanted end between the two…

Until it is completely hidden!

When you are done with that color and need to finish off leave a long tail of yarn, usually 2-4 inches long.

Ch 1 twice and pull tight to make a good knot that won’t unravel

Attach yarn needle and insert yarn into first stitch

Weave needle and yarn into a row of crochet in the same color until end is properly hidden

And Voila!

More tips for successful finished projects:

  • Be careful not to split the yarn while weaving in the ends, this can be messy and unsightly.
  • Try to keep the yarn as hidden as possible and do not come over top of your work.
  • If you don’t have a needle it is possible to weave in ends with a small crochet hook.
  • Some projects require blocking for completion. See Blocking Crochet how to accomplish that!

Did this tutorial raise questions or comments?  Feel free to ask away here!

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  1. Samantha says:

    Thanks for this article. I’ve been crocheting for 26 years and have never been sure I was finishing correctly. I recently started a granny square scrap blanket and have been using the method you described to weave in the many ends. Even though I leave long tails and use the yarn needle to weave it back in,the end is still pops out from underneath sometimes. What do you recommend for that? I don’t feel like it will unravel since the tail is so long, but I don’t want the little end popping out. Do you think using fabric glue in those spots would be okay?

    • Sharron thompson says:

      Thanks for the information however I think it’s too late my shaw has stretched two sizes too big what do I do?

  2. Paige says:

    I was taught that you need to change direction three times to keep the ends from working loose. The way Rachel teaches would be much easier & quicker. Have you ever had a problem with ends working loose (like Samantha has had), Rachel?

  3. Erin says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Sometimes if I feel like there will be the tiny end ‘popping out’ I’ve use a sharper needle and thread the very end of the long strand directly through a piece of yarn at the end of the weaving. Being stuck inside another piece of yarn is usually enough to deter it from popping out.
    I’ve heard of using fabric glue before, but have never personally done it myself. Sounds like a good idea if you practice with it enough before actually implementing it on a finished project.

    Hi Paige,
    I have been selling crocheted items for 7 years using this method and have never had any complaints. It seems to be an easy and efficient way to finish up!

    Thanks for reading,

  4. Laurie says:

    I use the method that Rachel shows here and I’ve never had a problem with unraveling. Yes, sometimes the very end of the tail pulls loose, but I’ve never bought a sweater in a store that didn’t have some sort of problem, so there! :o) I choose to embrace the homespun feel of my work.

    BTW, I prefer to use a hook that’s smaller than the one I used to make the project. I hate to use a needle for any reason. If I can avoid anything that resembles sewing, I do.

  5. Paige says:

    Oops! Sorry Erin, I didn’t look at the author of this article and just assumed that Rachel wrote it. We all know what happens when one assumes 🙂 Thanks for the reply. I like the idea of threading the last little bit into another piece of yarn. I’m definitely going to try this. It will be much easier than changing directions three times. Thanks!

  6. Diana says:

    Hi – I was also taught to change directions a couple of times. I also leave a long end and sometimes just lay the yarn along the row and crochet over it and then when I get almost to the end I stop and thread needle and go the opposite way for a few stitches.

  7. Maria says:

    Erin, thank you for directing me to this page. Believe me, I will try all of the methods you and TW recommended to see which one will work the best for me. It’s very important to me to know that when I give something that I’ve made to someone that it will last them for years to come. I also wanted to say that a friend of mine has things that her mother crochet when she was a young girl and my friend has had them for years and still does and not one of these crochet items have every had any ends show through. That’s the way I want my work to be as well. Thank you so much to everyone for your tips and to Rachael for having such a wonder site where we can share.

  8. […] solve the problem by tugging at it (GAHH!) which of course made the problem worse. Lesson learned: ALWAYS hide the ends properly—it is so worth the time and […]

  9. Asprin says:

    I have weaved in the wool but I still have a spike-y end (about 5-7mm) where the wool actually ends, do you have any tips to prevent the spikes?

  10. Renee says:

    I’ve been crocheting for years and decided to check this out just to see if there were any new tips I didn’t know. I’ve used the method described above for years and it has ALWAYS worked for me. This is by far the best tutorial on weaving in ends that I’ve seen. So clear and easy to understand!

  11. Paula says:

    I’m crocheting a ripple design afghan. It’s looking pretty good except for one thing. The sides are going to look unfinished by the time I get to the end. The pattern doesn’t call for any kind of border, which on the ends it wouldn’t need it anyway. Is there a technique to use to make the sides of the afghan to have a more finished look? Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! and happy crocheting!

  12. Carol Riels says:

    I am a very inexperienced crocheter. I love the craft, but because of a disability and so little income, I am restricted as to what I can do. For one thing, I really can’t afford to purchase a lot of yarns and threads. When I was still in a nursing home a wonderful woman donated some yarn to me. It was such a blessing, and I made a lot of patients hats and scarves, which was extremely rewarding for me as well as the benefactor. My hands are somewhat crippled, so it is hard to accomplish the craft, but I believe it is good for me. I am very slow, so I haven’t learned a lot and want to learn more. I have used the tucked in ends method described above and have found that my ends stay in fairly well. It depends on how much tension I use when working on the project. It is more difficult for the ends to stay tucked well, I have found, with a more relaxed pattern. I have a tendency to make a more tightly crocheted piece, which may be why my end stay tucked well. Thank you for taking the time to read my comments.

  13. Joyce says:

    I’ve been crocheting for over 50 years now. I usually only crochet in the evening when it is quiet in the house, I started crocheting at night when the children were in bed. I found it to be very relaxing after a hectic day with 5 children running around all day. I used to use just the tuck in version of hiding the ends of yarn, I found out that after some years of doing so that they sometimes had a tendency to come undone, I started using the reverse when I wove my ends in. It seems to work very well. I made my daughter an afghan when she got married over 20 years and after 6 years the ends started to come undone after so many washings. I took the afghan and re-wove the ends in using the reverse version. MY daughter still has the blanket and uses it quite often. The ends are not coming undone, I’ve stuck with the reverse method. I usually only reverse it through 3 stitches and it holds up just fine,

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